What browser is lightest on memory and CPU?

GrrGrrr September 1, 2012
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I’m looking for a browser which is very light on memory & CPU. and has ad blocking feature/support.

To be used for:

Opening multiple pages, and have them keep open for a very long time
Viewing videos

FF, Chrome, IR are already ruled out by me.


  1. HS Peters
    March 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Chrome use the MOST memory, run chrome and hit CTRL+ALT+DEL and see the chrome activity. 3 x chrome !

  2. Juan
    November 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    If you have Linux, try out the Midori browser. It's available in the software manager and its the lightest browser I know.

  3. mohit kumar
    September 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Try Crazy Browser ( http://crazybrowser.com ).

  4. shams
    September 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    This link shows that Opera is best in terms of memory consumption :



  5. Hiren Patel
    September 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Comparing Opera With Firefox.
    Opera Browser is very light On Memory & CPU.

  6. Gen Drex
    September 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    How about getting off of Windows XP and something more modern? That'll speed things up.

    • Ritwik
      September 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      No...I would suggest if you are low on resources stick to Windows XP. Tried and tested.

      • Harshit Jain
        September 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        Reall good advice. I would recommend a windows 8 release preview dual boot with xp. Gives performance better than xp.

  7. mike
    September 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I use FireFox version 3.6 which is still a "modern" browser but is no longer being maintained by Mozilla. It is very light on RAM. I use it on older, under RAM'd laptops and it works just fine. You can still find copies of it on the 'net - either as an install or as a portable.

  8. VictorGeis
    September 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Whatever you choose, just remember that adding extensions/plugins will increase its memory usage.

  9. Krishna Vallabhaneni
    September 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Opera is one of the lightest

  10. Craig Snyder
    September 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Certainly not FF in any circumstance, so cross that one off the list unfortunately. Give Opera a try and make sure you play with the configuration to turn smooth scrolling off, etc.

  11. Pierre BRIENNE
    September 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    You should try Opera or Qupzilla. I use both on my netbook with Intel Atom processor and 1 Gb memory, and Opera runs really fast, even with several extensions like an ad blocker, WOT and Lastpass. However, Qupzilla is lightweight and comes with an ad-blocker built-in, but doesn't offer addons at this time. Chrome, with just some addons, becomes a little sluggish on a low-ram computer/VM. So, I think Opera and Qupzilla are great choices.

  12. i0ni
    September 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Try opera or Maxthon.

  13. Lambvolution
    September 3, 2012 at 12:50 am

    you can try avant browser or maxthon

  14. Usman Mubashir
    September 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    each browser has its own point, but to visit websites that are loaded with stuff, you sure need some memory. try chrome, or Opera. check their portable verrsions, they might effect less on CPU.

  15. ZaneG
    September 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    You could try Comodo Dragon, it is a version of Chrome. I have been using it for years, is stable and I often will have a dozen or so tabs open and 2 to 3 pages, with no issues.

  16. Igor Rizvi?
    September 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Try opera,k-meleon,safari,waterfox,pale-moon,sea-monkey,Wyzo is optimized for downloads and online media,epic browser,CometBird is a powerful and fast web browser...there are alot of them...but some off these above are lightware and for surfing and media online with a low memory and cpu consumption.

  17. Jhon H. Caicedo
    September 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    For me, Google Chrome (latest version is 21 at this time) is the fastest and less memory hog browser, I use it for viewing video on an old Aspire One netbook, I combine it with AdBlock.

    The performance on video playing (flash/silverlight) is better than Firefox or IE

    Google Chrome should work fine on 512Mb RAM

  18. chris williams
    September 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    a suggestion for GrrGrr Have you tried Comodo Dragon and Dragon Ice I love mine Never have a problem and Top Notch Security

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      September 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Comodo Dragon is excellent from the security perspective, but it is not very light on resources. :) It is built on Chrome features with hardened security features built in. :)

  19. Pat
    September 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Try Opera..very easy to work with, customize to your liking..rarely crashes, tons of features, add on's or use as is..Works for me!

  20. GrrGrrr
    September 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks to all for their suggestions so far

    There is a tie between Chrome/Firefox/Opera
    However, as Chrome starts a new process for each tab- it gets heavier with each new tab, eating more CPU & Memory. So ruling out Chrome

    Left options Firefox/Opera

    I see following new names (new caz I have never used them)
    1. K-Meleon
    2. PaleMoon
    3. Maxthon
    4. CoolNovo
    5. elinks
    6. Qupzilla
    7. Midori
    8. Avant

    So, I will now rephrase my question, as to which of the above 8 are good for my use with 1Gb RAM on XP running in VMware.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      September 3, 2012 at 2:51 am

      I would suggest to try K-Meleon.

    • Ritwik
      September 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      I was in a similar fix on my old laptop...it had celeron1.7 GHz processor,1 GB Ram and 100GB HD and running Windows 7 Ultimate. Chrome hogged too much memory but Firefox came as lifesaver(specially when working with many tabs open). Also try the portable version(you can install Adblockplus) too. Hope it helps. Btw, I still have that laptop and use FF even on my new laptop.

  21. Kannon Y
    September 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    That's a really good question.

    Have you tried using portable app versions of Firefox? Portable versions tend to run on almost anything. Whatever issue you may be having might go away. My 233 MHz Thinkpad 600 (upgraded to 366 MHz) seemed to do just fine running portable apps from a USB drive. IIRC it had 190-something MBs of RAM. Portable apps did support ad-block, last I recall.

    Anyway, according to this article, the lowest RAM using browser is from Avant. It supports ad-blocking and uses the least amount of memory out of all the browsers out there. I'm not sure what rendering engine it uses, unfortunately.

  22. SKK
    September 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Grr now try Midori...
    its light weight and but i don't know it for you or not...

  23. Tudor Rusu
    September 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I'm a very big Chrome fan, but the newest versions of firefox look to consume less memory than Chrome, so in my opinion you should try the latest version of Firefox.

    • Harshit Jain
      September 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Chrome makes my computer very slow with many tabs open. Firefox is still best.

  24. Charles Rachor
    September 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Imo, here's a few suggestions:
    1. you can afford it, upgrade your system, whether that be a new computer, new operating system, or new hardware parts. XP support going to be ended relatively soon, just skip vista and go to windows 7, or 8 (when its available)if you're inclined.
    2. If you're really against chrome, I would suggest Opera. However, I think once you have experienced Chrome on a system that's more capable of handling it, you really will like it. I've personally used chrome portable and it's not meant to be run from a flash drive. Also, chrome has plenty of extensions available for it that help in every day browsing.
    3. You definitely want adblock installed, and there's also an extension which allows you to load up multiple YouTube videos in multiple tabs and stop the autoplay feature, while the videos load, which really nice.

    • Charles Rachor
      September 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      I meant to say, "If" you can afford it...

  25. Zenphic
    September 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Lifehacker recently tested different browsers for speed and RAM usage. Firefox came out the winner. Link: http://lifehacker.com/5917714/browser-speed-tests-chrome-19-firefox-13-internet-explorer-9-and-opera-1164?tag=browsers

    I personally find Chrome the snappiest with Opera in close second. Firefox is the slowest when too many windows are opened and it has the tendency of locking up the whole window when 1 tab is non-responsive.

  26. Pedro Oliva
    September 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    1. Opera (opera>Settings>Options>Advanced>Content>check "plugins on demand" = to selectively load objects) and for Ad Block use https://addons.opera.com/es/extensions/details/opera-adblock/
    2. Firefox add AdBlock Plus and any fash block to selectively load objects.
    3. Chrome add Addblock plus for chrome
    4. K-meleon
    5. Qupzilla

  27. Justin Pot
    September 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The lightest overall is elinks, but I don't think you'll like it. :)

    Which browser is lightest on memory is controversial, and thanks to the rapid release cycle of Firefox and Chrome the answer changes every five minutes or so. (Only exaggerating a little.) It's best to test yourself and see what works. Personally, I prefer Chrome on my under-powered netbook.

  28. Darren Reynolds
    September 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Firefox. Chrome is ok but does create a lot of processes.

  29. Fireshard
    September 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    as some other guy here suggested...try upgrading Chrome...better yet, try CoolNovo (also based on Chromium, but better in my oppinion). I am not sure if mobile versions are available, but laptops and PCs are very happy to have it (Win and Linux alike). I have no idea how, but about an year ago, it was visibly faster than Chrome was (test was done on Windows using 6 tabs that were needed to reload faster than a full cycle through them was done by the tester - or as fast as possible. Done using Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, CoolNovo at that moment).

  30. Divit Dsouza
    September 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Give Opera a try... I think it has some kind of options to selectively load objects.

  31. Ben
    September 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    You really should be trying the most up to date versions of browsers before you eliminate them. Especially with Chrome being relatively new the bug fixes and memory leaks are the first things they fix/

  32. Sebastian Hadinata
    September 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Mozilla Firefox!

  33. Tim
    September 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I use a few browsers and for me Maxthon is by far the fastest :)
    FF is slow and bulky..
    Opera is my 3rd choice..
    Chrome is a little fussy at times but it's ok.

  34. steven ...
    September 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Opera may not be light on CPU
    if smooth scrolling is ON, CPU usage will jump/spike up when you scroll

  35. Jon
    September 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    You can try PaleMoon, it's an optimized version of Firefox.

  36. rama moorthy
    September 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Download the latest version of chrome and use
    download link (www.easydownloads.us/software/google_chrome.htm)
    and go to settings >show advanced settings>content settings> on the Plugins section select "click to play" ..
    it will automatically block all flash based ads ..

    Note: you need to click to enable plugin (if you need to run plugin like videos in youtube or someother ..)

  37. Tom Sobieski
    September 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Top Ten Reviews lists 10 browsers and their advantages and disadvantages.

  38. Erlis D.
    September 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I would say Firefox!

  39. Tug Ricks
    September 2, 2012 at 6:39 am

    May I ask why you're eliminating Firefox and Chrome? I also noticed that you're sporting Chrome 12. Have you considered updating it to the current version?

    • GrrGrrr
      September 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

      yes, i'm on Chrome12 portable. it eats a lot of memory compared to Firefox.
      so i have ruled it out, and also IE

      • Vipul Jain
        September 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        but the latest chrome version is version 21 :o

      • Vipul Jain
        September 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        also you can try opera for light weight, but the experience on chrome is unmatched. Also safari will load up after 3-4 tabs.
        And any browser will load up after 4 tabs!

        • obi wan
          November 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

          7 tabs and no problem whatsoever, on chrome :D

      • Tug Ricks
        September 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

        Yeah, I'd at least try updating to Chrome's latest release before passing final judgement on it.

  40. Gian Singh
    September 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

    you could try opera or safari but personally i think chrome and firefox are the best

    • abwaluyo
      March 20, 2013 at 1:54 am

      Unfortunately, K-meleon gets crashed often.

  41. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 2, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Try K-Meleon browser from the site http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/ .

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      September 2, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Alco ckeckout this URL for other lightweight broswer suggestions : http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-web-browser-lightweight.htm

      • GrrGrrr
        September 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

        it lists a lot of them, but no comparison as to which one is the best.

        • Rajaa Chowdhury
          September 3, 2012 at 2:50 am

          I would suggest K-Meleon browser.

  42. venkatp16
    September 2, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Try opera... It is far more better than FF.

  43. Bruce Epper
    September 2, 2012 at 12:13 am

    You could always try Opera. It doesn't seem to be a resource hog on my system, but I don't use it every day and when I do, it is generally for less than 1 hour at a time.

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